So you bought a new baseball glove, but how do you break it in? There are many stories and myths about the best way to treat your glove to make it less stiff and soften the leather.
It is recommended not to use a microwave or an oven to soften your baseball glove. When you put it under extreme heat conditions, the fibers in the leather will break down and that will deteriorate your glove faster and it also voids the warranty.
So which ways to break in your new baseball glove are working and used by the pros?
Dunk your baseball glove in water
A good method to break in your baseball glove, is to quickly dunk it in a bucket of water. Then put one or two balls in the pocket and wrap it up with a piece of textile and let it dry for a couple of days.
Other people dunk it in the water, but dry the baseball glove right after and then treat it with baseball glove oil. Instead of using baseball glove oil, baseball players also use shaving cream, baby oil, saddle soap or vaseline. For all these liquids applies: do not use it excessively.
Beat your baseball glove
Another time-effective way to soften the leather of your baseball glove, is beating the hell out of it.
This may perhaps sound like a remarkable advice, but also professional baseball players from the MLB use this method. Some players put the glove on a carpeted surface and pound it like crazy with a bat. Others take a ball peen hammer and start hitting the inside and the outside of the baseball glove. If you use a normal hammer, be careful that your hammer does not have sharp edges, because that will scratch your new baseball glove. There are also stories about people who run it over with a car or put it between the mattress and the boxspring of a bed.
Use your baseball glove
The easiest way to make your baseball glove less stiff is using it. Play catch with a friend and let your glove feel some action. The disadvantage of this method, is that it takes longer (at least a couple of weeks) than some of the other methods mentioned in this article.
Other methods to break in your baseball glove
Other methods used to soften the leather of your baseball glove are leaving it in your car (in the sun) or let a professional do it for you. There are shops who offer to break in your glove, shape it and condition it. This will save your time, but comes at a price.